What is a planning agreement?
‘A planning agreement (also commonly referred to as a voluntary planning agreement or VPA) is an agreement entered into by a planning authority (such as Cumberland Council) and a developer who has sought a change to the Local Environmental Plan (via a planning proposal) or as made a development application.
Under the agreement, a developer may agree to provide or fund:
- Infrastructure – eg transport, open space
- Public, community facilities
- Public domain and open space improvements
- Affordable housing
- Conservation or enhancement of the natural environment
- Other infrastructure.
A planning agreement can provide for the dedication of land or dwelling units, payment of a monetary contribution or works that provide a public benefit to be used for a public purpose. Planning agreements cannot be entered into unless public notice has been given and the community has been given opportunity to comment on any proposed agreement.
Planning agreements are provided for in Section 93F of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Council’s Policy and Guidelines for Planning Agreements
Council’s Policy and Guidelines on Planning Agreements became effective on 6 September 2017 and can be downloaded below:
- Cumberland Planning Agreements Policy
- Cumberland Planning Agreements Guidelines
- Appendix B (to the Guidelines) – Planning Agreement Template
The purpose of the Policy and Guidelines is to establish Council’s policy and procedures on the use of planning agreements and to provide an enhanced and more flexible development contributions system for Council.
The Policy provides a short overview of the policy objectives, principles and requirements in relation to planning agreements in the Cumberland LGA.
The Guidelines provide more detail to support the implementation of the Policy, and provide the framework for both the Council and developers to effectively negotiate and prepare planning agreements. It also provides a template planning agreement document, as well as a list of suggested infrastructure for works that may be considered to have a public benefit.
The Guidelines provide a clear and transparent framework governing the negotiation, assessment and use of planning agreements and ensures that the framework is consistent, efficient, fair and accountable.
If you are considering the offer of a planning agreement, it is critical that you discuss it with Council staff as early as possible to avoid unnecessary delays in the assessment of your development application or planning proposal.
To discuss a potential planning agreement, or for further information on planning agreements within Cumberland LGA please contact Council on 8757 9000.